When the battle isn’t worth fighting

There’s an interesting topic on Lifehacker right now that connects with something I am going through and might connect with your heart as well. When is it best not to fight it out? We know there are times to stand up for what is right, but there are also times when it is best to let it go and walk away. This may give some practical advice…


As always, there are things on Lifehacker that are helpful or fun and things that are just dumb. Sort them out for yourself.


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7 responses to “When the battle isn’t worth fighting

  1. L D

    Thanks for sending this, Dave!  Validation at a perfect time when dealing with a narc. Many things are just not worth fighting for when it comes to them because they are so evil and never fight fair and ALWAYS make things worse instead of better. They simply have NO IDEA what compromise and unity mean. It’s eat or be eaten with them…the picture of the tiger showing their teeth was a good one. I think of the Biblical scripture that Satan is like a roaring lion without teeth but that makes me think that a Narc is worse than Satan because they do have teeth and they do major damage!Keep up the good work, Dave!Lynn   From: Grace for my Heart To: wonderingif1@yahoo.com Sent: Monday, October 6, 2014 5:43 PM Subject: [New post] When the battle isn’t worth fighting #yiv0956851637 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv0956851637 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv0956851637 a.yiv0956851637primaryactionlink:link, #yiv0956851637 a.yiv0956851637primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv0956851637 a.yiv0956851637primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv0956851637 a.yiv0956851637primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv0956851637 WordPress.com | graceformyheart posted: “There’s an interesting topic on Lifehacker right now that connects with something I am going through and might connect with your heart as well. When is it best not to fight it out? We know there are times to stand up for what is right, but there are als” | |

  2. Tammy

    Thanks as always Dave. I always look forward to your posts. You have something helpful to say and often make me laugh with your delivery. 🙂

    Growing up and well into adulthood I felt like I had to argue the point, engage and do battle. As I have gotten older, I have mellowed and I like it! I don’t mind to leave a potential fight on the table. It doesn’t mean that I don’t care about the issue, it just means that the fight isn’t worth it. So the Lifehacker post makes sense.

    I thought I would share a couple of thoughts with those dealing with a Narcissist and how this may apply. Yes, it is mostly EAT or BE EATEN.

    I know with certainty that my fighting spirit saved me from much worse abuse from a growing Narcissist than I would have endured. He got worse with his next relationship (with a compliant personality) and his abuse reached unspeakable heights. Everyone’s situation is different. I will say that if you don’t have a fighting spirit, do what you can to remove yourself from the abuse, especially any children that might be involved.

    When the battle is worth it, do research, read books, make notes, keep a diary, join a support group, and if it applies – hire a lawyer, forensic accountant and court approved family counselor. If you plan to fight a big battle, have a BIG plan. Enlist every resource available to you and plan to win with facts and proof. If you are considering a divorce, there are many books on Amazon that look very helpful.

    Many of you know how good Narcissists can fool even the sharpest of minds. My Ex-N fooled so many in his life, including our judge that handled rulings on visitation violations, child support, etc. The rulings were in his favor and he reveled in it.

    Yours may not be worth fighting or you may not have the resources. I didn’t think my battle was worth fighting because the courts seem to dismiss anything I had to say. I also do not have the financial resources to go back to court. If you are in the same situation, read on and have hope.

    When I considered if I should go back to court, this time armed to turn the legal tides, I asked myself questions – If my daughter was dealing with this, what would I want her to do? What does scripture say about this? God what do you say about this? What is your will?

    I am saved. I am a Child of the King. He holds the world by the power of his word. I trust Him. He loves me. I asked for his will. In his time, he answered.

    The answer was crystal clear for me. God poured facts into my lap. The professionals involved offered to work for delayed payment. My parents offered to help financially if I needed it without my asking. Others volunteered incredible information and the data started rolling in. I have been divorced 15 years and the issues would fill volumes. It has been a long time coming but we are going back to court and I am readying myself for a battle that IS worth fighting for.

    Our children learn by example. Do I show my 15 year old daughter that we should just accept bad behavior? Or do I show her that there are ways to stop it that don’t include arrogance, lying, drama and breaking the law?

    Here is some scripture and related comments that helped me make my decision to fight.
    Ephesians 6:12
    For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

    In 1 Corinthians, Paul writes to the church about sin WITHIN the church. Many comments on this blog reveal that their N created an image that includes going to church. My ex put himself in that category a couple of years ago, yet his behavior concerning the issues mentioned here have not changed.

    1 Corinthians 5:11
    But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one.

    If they are not paying child support as they should, they are greedy and a swindler. I looked up reviler: to assail with contemptuous or opprobrious language; address or speak of abusively. Idolater? Read Pastor Dave’s blog post “Supply” https://graceformyheart.wordpress.com/2014/03/07/supply/

    I think much of that description applies to Narcissists. In my humble opinion, God is saying that we are to call out those in the church that are “playing Church” as a friend put it recently. “Brothers” who attend church yet reveal their true character everywhere else. Taking up a fight with a Narcissist can be a dangerous thing. I do think with prayer and trust in God that He will reveal His will.

    Pastor Dave’s blog posts and readers comments contain hard earned wisdom. Don’t stay in an abusive situation because it is “the Christian thing to do”. God makes it clear that it is NOT the thing to do. Often the answer is to just remove yourself from the situation and not engage or fight.

    My post has gotten way too long. I’ll leave you with one more supporting verse:
    Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

  3. Amy Z

    Very timely post, once again. Thank you for sharing, it always seems to come when I need it most.

  4. I just stumbled on a “cowboy” saying: “never miss a good chance to shut up”. It’s a humorous way of describing NC. It’s very hard for me b/c I am motivated to speak truth, but I am learning, esp with a narc, that often the more they talk the more they reveal about themselves–especially going NC. Since going NC with my primary N, a lot of emails and letters (from her) have revealed the darkness of her heart w/o me even needing to answer. It’s so obvious it doesn’t even deserve the dignity of an answer, much less a battle.

  5. Always a StepChild

    Thank you for continuing to post & commenters for adding in!! Its so helpful!!

    I’m having such a difficult time trying to figure out what is “right” – since learning about narcissism and how my family system has been steeped in it, I haven’t been comfortable with much contact with my father/stepmother (they are a unit). There is guilt with thinking of what I “should” do, which is to “play nice” but I always, always pay emotionally for this. My life has gotten to a point where I don’t have the “emotional currency” to spend on feeling less important, never measuring up. [as with everyone, there’s so much more to my story…] Its just really hard and I’m not sure I’m ready to re-enter the arena of pretending everything is fine and trying not to let my self-esteem plummet. I got a phone call yesterday that my younger (half-) sibling got engaged, which is wonderful, but I know they will heap it on thick, leaving me feel like my 18 years of marriage and 4 children just aren’t worth mentioning. How do I play this game? I want to say how I feel and why I’m not contacting them, but narcissists don’t even care. They only want to tell me what is wonderful about themselves and their lives.

    As I was typing out “narcissists” & having difficulty spelling it, I realized its just like the relationship: you try to gloss over it and make it through, but somehow you know that you ended up spelling it wrong. And that somehow its your fault!!

    • Mark

      I don’t think you play the game. I am the youngest in my family that was mostly loving, but very authoritarian. I discovered that there was a pecking order at family gatherings and my family and I were at the bottom of it – events that were planned centered around the older families and what they wanted to do and didn’t consider young children that couldn’t participate in sports, needed adult supervision and had early bedtimes. When we didn’t have children and the older siblings were planning, THEIR plans centered around the needs of their families, of course.

      So, the way I’ve dealt with it so far is to plan based on my family’s needs. We would or would not participate in other plans based on whether they fit, and we made our own plans that other families were welcome to join or not. Vacations became a lot better and less stressful because we knew that we would at least have the fun we planned on having, and we weren’t always waiting to see how our family would get shorted as the plans got made. I do have to deal with the repercussions of making my own plans, which is hard. I think you may very well be in a situation where being around your family is too much to deal with. If your family can’t respect your boundaries, and especially if you can’t respect your own boundaries when you’re around them, it seems the safest thing is to keep some distance.

  6. Mark

    Thanks for this. I have often thought about this (fight or flight) – I have a unique ability to see relational patterns, mostly in organizational structures. In some cases, I have been able to influence change, but in most cases, I have to make this very choice. Do I fight the issue, knowing that it could have serious effects on me and those around me, do I ignore the problems and suffer with those around me, or do I walk away and try to find a better environment.

    Where I’ve been able to influence change is almost ALWAYS in a work situation. I think co-workers and managers are much more willing to change because they often don’t generally have too much invested in the status quo. Family and church seem much, much more resistant. The roles and authority structure are much more personal and much more worthy of protection.

    I left a church in the past over an issue I wasn’t willing to fight, and I’m considering the same thing again. In the first case, many others have taken the same approach. The one who fought got the full wrath that the church was able to muster.

    The two hardest questions for me every time are: is THIS the time that God wants me to take action? and Am I just going to be unhappy no matter what because there will always be some “problem”?

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